Colombia’s judicial workers begin new strike after court order to lay off thousands

Posted on Aug 4 2014 - 11:02am by Today News
(Photo: Confidencial Colombia)

Sectors of Colombia’s judicial branch went on strike to protest the removal of 130 decongestion courts that would leave 20% of workers without jobs, Colombian media reported on Sunday.

The strike was organized by Colombia’ s union of judicial workers (ASONAL) to protest the lay off of between 2,000 and 3,000 workers and the termination of some 1,500 branch processes, according to Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.

The director of one ASONAL, Fredy Machado, appealed to workers in the sector to “join the the national campaign of protest and to cease all activities originated by the labor massacre involving the removal of decongestion charges.”

At the same time, another ASONAL branch president, Luis Fernando Otalvaro, declared that the Supreme Court’s decision to remove the decongestion courts was “improvised; completely improvised.” He went on to stress that the real needs of the branch were not being addressed.

Last week nearly 50,000 justice workers went on strike on Tuesday to protest against congestion in the judicial branch. The workers claim that the judicial offices are overburdened and depending on the decongestion program to complete their judicial obligations.

MORE: 48K lawyers, judges of Colombia’s judicial branch go on strike

The strike was to last two days, and on Wednesday of last week, Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas invited representatives of the strike to a meeting to discuss their grievances.

This new strike is in response to a July 31 Supreme Court ruling to shut down 130 courts, halt 1,500 branch processes, and cost 2,000 to 3,000 judicial workers their jobs, affecting about 20% of the sector.


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